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USA : US$1 Trillion Spending Package for 2015 approved

U.S. Democrats and Republicans approved the bill that includes many controversial measures in order to avoid a government shudown.

Congressional leaders agreed on a US$1 trillion spending package, following weeks of intense political negotiations between officials from the Republican House and Democratic Senate, over how to avoid another government shutdown.

The hard-fought agreement would delay a heavily-contested battle over President Barack Obama’s new immigration policy until after Republicans will be in full control of Congress.

​House of Representatives Republicans are planning to vote on a short-term funding extension to fund the government for two or three days to buy time for the Senate to pass the final measure and avoid a government shutdown Thursday night.

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced shortly after the bill text that, “Until we review the final language, we cannot make a determination about whether House Democrats can support this legislation, but I am hopeful.”

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), who led the negotiations as leaders of the Senate and House appropriations committees, called the bill a fair agreement.

“While not everyone got everything they wanted, such compromises must be made in a divided government,” they said in a statement.

A number of controversial measures were included in the bill such as restrictions on President Obama’s proposed carbon reduction emissions regulations, dramatically expanding the amount of money that wealthy political donors could give the national parties, approving cuts to worker pension benefits and finally a provision that would deregulate restrictions on big banks’ derivatives trading activities.

The bill would provide US$554 billion for defense activities. Under defense spending, the bill would provide US$64 billion for overseas contingency operations, and would give military and civilian personnel a 1 percent pay raise.

The bill also finances a portion of the Obama administration’s US$6.2 billion request to combat the Ebola crisis in the United States as well as in West Africa by including US$5.4 billion in emergency funding for various agencies to combat the virus.

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